1st Dist., Pos. 1 legislative candidates key on jobs, schooling

Democratic Rep. Derek Stanford will face three challengers in his bid for a second term in the 1st Legislative District.

The Aug. 7 primary election ballot includes his name along with Republicans Sandy Guinn and Brian Travis and Democrat Greg Rankich for the Position 1 seat. The top two vote getters will advance to the Nov. 7 general election, regardless of party.

Stanford, 41, is proud of the work he did during his first term that included getting construction of the new University of Washington at Bothell Science and Academic Building started. He also received bipartisan support for a bill he sponsored in 2011 that helps to protect people from being treated unfairly by debt collectors. If elected to another term, job creation is one thing that is important to work on, Stanford said.

“I think there’s a lot more that the state could be doing to promote job creation,” he said. “There’s no single silver bullet there so you have to get into the details in all these different industries and understand what makes them tick and what the barriers are and that’s something I enjoy doing.”

Stanford, a member of the House Education Appropriations and Oversight Committee, added that he is eager to continue to build the state’s education system.

Sandy Guinn ran against Stanford for the seat in the 2010 primary election. She served on the Bothell City Council from 1998 through 2009 and was deputy mayor from 2005 to 2009. As a city councilwoman, she worked to balance the city’s budget six years out, create a 20 percent rainy day emergency fund and promote economic development, among other things. Being a state representative feels like the next step for her, she said.

Guinn, 61, added that she wants to get people get back to work by helping small businesses succeed through not having to pay the state’s Business and Occupation tax and returning to an origin-based sales tax instead of a destination-based tax.

“Government shouldn’t make things so complicated and so convoluted,” she said. “We really need to go through and clean up our books and let businesses do what they do best by letting them work and sell their service. They’ll hire people and get people back to work.”

Rankich is running for a political seat for the first time. The Kirkland man in 2005 founded his company, Xtreme Consulting Group, Inc. He thought about entering a political race several years ago but didn’t have time for a campaign while managing his young company.

“I thought it was time from a career and business point of view that I could step away and do something like this,” said Rankrich, 40. “I’m definitely not a career politician. People will know exactly how I feel about something. I have integrity and stand behind what I say.”

If elected, Rankich, a member of the Washington State University Board of Trustees, said some of his priorities would be to focus on investing in education and fiscal management of the state’s budget.

“If I ran my company like the government runs their business I’d be out of business,” he said. “There’s got to be a better way to do things. … We have to spend more wisely and we also have to figure out a new tax stream and or increase the tax stream we have today.”

Brian Travis, 37, has entered two previous races as a Republican. The most recent race was in 2008 against Rep. Mary Helen Roberts of the 21st District. The Bothell man said he is running to represent his ideas that are specifically centered on transportation and education.

“I have no criticisms for Rep. Stanford,” he said. “This is more a competition of ideas rather than personalities. I want to be somebody that represents ideas that people can vote for.”

Travis said he doesn’t believe the variable tolling system is a fair system and wants a flat rate system of up to $5 dollars a day for a round-trip toll. He also would like for state transportation commissioners to be elected. When it comes to education, Travis believes in giving charter schools a chance to work and adding more vocational schools that are focused on mechanical trades.

“STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs are good but we also need to build and rebuild blue collar career paths for those that work better with their hands,” he said. “I also believe that there should be an expansion of online distance learning to help reduce school overcrowding, bullying and peer pressure.”

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

What’s the job?

The job is a two-year term as a state representative for the 1st District. The district includes Brier, Bothell, most of Mountlake Terrace, part of Kirkland, areas of unincorporated King County between Bothell and Kirkland and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell. The annual salary is $42,106.

Meet the candidates and read up on the issues for the Aug. 7 primary at www.heraldnet.com/election.

Meet the candidates

Sandy Guinn

Residence: Bothell

Age: 61

Party: Republican

Experience: She is a senior administrative assistant for the city of Woodinville’s development services department. She served on the Bothell City Council from 1998 to 2009 and was the deputy mayor for the city from 2005 to 2009.

Website: www.sandyguinn.com

Greg Rankich

Residence: Kirkland

Age: 40

Party: Democratic

Experience: He is the chief executive officer of Xtreme Consulting Group, Inc. in Kirkland. He is also a member of the Washington State University Board of Trustees.

Website: www.gregrankich.com

Derek Stanford

Residence: Bothell

Age: 41

Party: Democratic

Experience: He is the incumbent state representative who serves as vice chairman of the House committee on agriculture and natural resources and is a member of the committee on business and financial services and the committee on education appropriations and oversight. He also does freelance consulting work as a statistician.

Website: www.derekstanford.com

Brian Travis

Residence: Bothell

Age: 37

Party: Republican

Experience: He earned a business management associate of technical arts degree from Edmonds Community College, where he continues to attend while finishing a certificate in emergency management. He works as a hotel night auditor.

Website: www.briantravis.net

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